When people hide assets during a divorce, they don't necessarily stash money in foreign bank accounts or hide physical assets from you. There are tricks people use to hide assets in plain sight. Here are four examples of such tricks:
This is one of the oldest tricks in the books, where a person reports a false (lower) value of an asset. This trick works best if you don't know the value of the asset in question, and your spouse is aware of your ignorance. Therefore, your partner may report the true value of their conventional car and report a low value of their classic car. It's easy for anybody to gauge the value of a conventional car (you can even do it online), but a classic's car valuation is a different matter. Other assets that are a bit easy to undervalue include artwork (such as painting), businesses, and stock options.
The second trick your spouse may use is to overstate the amount of money they or their business owe other parties. Some people can even "create" loans as a way of reducing their partner's share of assets. For example, if your partner runs a side business, they can cook the books so that the reported loans don't represent the business' true loan position.
Another trick your partner that goes hand in hand with inflating loans is to undervalue debts owed to them or their business. Your partner may even categorize some of the money owed to them as bad debts so that they can be written off. In such cases, your partner will be in cahoots with the debtor, which may receive a fraction of the proceeds of your spouse's deception.
The fourth trick you should be aware of is that of underreporting personal income or business revenue. This is especially easy for those who don't have traditional jobs where they get fixed salaries each month. Even if your partner has such a traditional job, they may have additional streams of income that also constitute your marital assets. For example, your spouse might not reveal a contract they have just signed or the payment they are getting for a consultancy side business. They can also manipulate the records of their side business to show revenue that is lower than the actual one.
Considering all these tricks (that actually represent a few examples), it's advisable not to approach your divorce without professional help. Get an experienced divorce lawyer's help and let them help you in getting the true value of your marital assets and liabilities before the divorce. Contact a professional such as Karie L. Sanoba, Attorney at Law to learn more.